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5 things to know about Hunter Biden trial

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Hunter Biden’s federal gun crime trial kicked off with jury selection on Monday in Delaware, launching proceedings that are sure to hold the nation’s attention in the days and weeks to come.

Here are some key facts to know about the trial moving forward.

1. Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison

Hunter is charged with one count of making false statements in a firearm purchase, another count of making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a licensed firearm dealer, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

If he is found guilty on all charges, he could face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release. 


According to an indictment, Hunter Biden bought a Colt Cobra revolver on Oct. 12, 2018, and “knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that dealer with respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm … certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious.”

2. Hunter’s defense hinges on his drug addiction

Hunter’s charges allege that he was addicted to drugs at the time he purchased the firearm, meaning prosecutors do not need to prove that he was in fact on drugs at the moment of the purchase.

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett summarized Hunter’s “crazy” defense plan in a Monday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

“The best witness against Hunter Biden is Hunter Biden,” Jarrett said. “I mean, [he] wrote a book explaining in detail how he was a drug addict at the exact time that he bought a gun and then allegedly lied about it, so he incriminated himself, and it was incredibly foolish to cash in by peddling a book about your addiction when you know you’re under criminal investigation for an addiction related crime.”


President Biden

Jarrett said Hunter’s main defense hinges on denial of addiction and rehab, with a backup defense of being too strung out to intend wrongdoing. His defense may also attempt to challenge the Second Amendment, despite his father’s advocacy for stricter gun laws.


“His dad is on record railing against the Second Amendment,” Jarrett said. “And arguing strict gun laws should always be enforced, except for, you know, maybe against my own son. So, it’s a crazy defense.”

3. Hunter’s family members are attending the proceedings

First lady Jill Biden, Hunter’s stepmother, attended the first day of his trial alongside Hunter’s sister, Ashley Biden, on Monday.

Hunter arrived at court while holding hands with wife Melissa Cohen Biden.

Hunter’s father, President Biden, has not announced any plans to attend the proceedings.

4. The judge has barred prosecutors from using salacious evidence

The judge in Hunter’s trial has ruled that the prosecution cannot use some salacious evidence in the proceedings, including references to his U.S. Navy discharge and the child support case for his out-of-wedlock daughter in Arkansas.

Judge Maryellen Noreika said the government may use part of Hunter Biden’s book in which he discusses his addiction to drugs.

Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, arrives at federal court

The prosecution does not plan to bring out Hunter Biden’s entire infamous laptop, which leaked in 2020 just before the presidential election, but may introduce certain pieces of information. Noreika ruled that Hunter Biden’s team will be able to question aspects of the laptop in front of the jury. 

In what is called a “motion in limine,” Hunter Biden asked the court “to exclude reference to the child support proceedings in Arkansas and reference to his discharge from the Navy.” This is in reference to the child he fathered out-of-wedlock with ex-stripper Lunden Roberts.

5. This is not Hunter’s only criminal trial

Hunter’s gun crime charges are not the only criminal charges against him. The first son is also facing federal tax charges in California.

Hunter will have to attend federal court in Los Angeles this month for tax evasion charges. That case stems from a years-long investigation conducted by Special Counsel David Weiss.

Weiss charged Hunter Biden in December, alleging a “four-year scheme” in which the president’s son did not pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020 while also filing false tax reports.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty to all charges in that case, with a trial scheduled to begin on June 20.

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